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  1. #1
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    The missing link. FINALLY!

    I haven't found any english articles about this yet, but i just read on a norwegian website that a Norwegian paleontologist have managed to aquire an unique fossil. a 47 million year old girl, 95% complete. There's even traces of stomach contents and marks of fur. They are hyping Ida, as she's called, to be one of the major breakthroughs in discovering our ancestry.

    Get this, a german collector found the fossil and kept it hidden for 24 years! A norwegian museum bought it in 2007, and have been studying it for two years. I suspect there's gonna be a lot of media coverage around this very soon, but as of now i couldn't find anything in english.

    //Edit: DOH, here it is in english: http://www.revealingthelink.com/


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  4. #2
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    good find slash!

    an anthropological find like this being hidden for 20+ years is really a pity though.

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    In before creationist moonbats.

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    looks like some of the so-called girls i went to highschool with.

    also, yes i'll end my sentences with prepositions if i damn-well please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash View Post
    Get this, a german collector found the fossil and kept it hidden for 24 years!
    I believe they actually had it as an art exhibit on their wall, above the fireplace, which is more mad and therefore better

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    Very cool news, thanks for sharing!

    I browsed through the link you provided. Everybody should check the Ida's Anatomy part and look at her skeleton, she reminds me much more of a dinosaur than a human being! Especially her feet and hands, they're very clawlike. And the head? Very reptile-esque! Those extra 5% sure made a difference for us.
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    There's a BBC story on this. THey have her skeleton build out in 3d. Very cool.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8057465.stm

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  11. #8
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    Interesting. I'm curious to know what sets this skeleton apart from modern lemurs, which is what it looks like to me.
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    It's an awesome fossil, but the fact they call it "the missing link" is sensationalism

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by m@. View Post
    It's an awesome fossil, but the fact they call it "the missing link" is sensationalism
    Agreed. There's a lot of good info on the site, but that front page is ATROCIOUS.

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  15. #11
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    "What makes Ida so special is that despite her classification as an early prosimian (lemurs), she has certain undeniable human characteristics such as forward facing eyes and even an opposable thumb." -TED.com

    Combined with the fact that this fossil is so complete and so old (all other similiar discoveries have been single teeth or jaw fragments) apparently makes a big difference. They are not claiming this to be a human ancestor, but an evolusionary turning point in unique shape.

    To us it might look like a regular lemur, but I'm guessing these guys know why it is so exciting.

  16. #12
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    Here's a Google hosted news page on the subject.
    Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kab View Post
    "What makes Ida so special is that despite her classification as an early prosimian (lemurs), she has certain undeniable human characteristics such as forward facing eyes and even an opposable thumb." -TED.com

    Combined with the fact that this fossil is so complete and so old (all other similiar discoveries have been single teeth or jaw fragments) apparently makes a big difference. They are not claiming this to be a human ancestor, but an evolusionary turning point in unique shape.

    To us it might look like a regular lemur, but I'm guessing these guys know why it is so exciting.
    Well, I wouldn't say none of the scientists aren't claiming it to be a direct ancestor of human-apes as Dr Hurum seems to believe so in the BBC article.

    He told BBC News that the key to proving this lay in the detail of the foot. The shape of a bone in the foot called the talus looks "almost anthropoid".
    -BBC

    As with any find there are going to be speculations of all sorts, we'll just have to wait before we all turn into skeptics .

    Great find btw!

  18. #14
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    It's human ego. First the earth was the center, then the sun,.......

    It's an old creature.
    tick their heads
    I'd like to see it but I wouldn't want to sit in an hour lecture on:"Do you know what this implies...?"

    The front page is funny. You see all kinds of dudes trying to stick their faces in front of it, playing "Who's the fossil".

    Maybe we could have a "What did Ida look like" concept challenge.

    I like what they did with T-Rex.. But who's to say it had scales? It could have had feathers.. and the sound it makes, Does he really have that infinite lung capacity to let out a roar like that?
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    As usual it's all hype and precious few facts. Note the "new book" that's come out on the back of it. It's a lemur. I'll eat my hat it it's any form of missing link (and apparently others more knowledgeable than me will too)

    Dr Henry Gee, a senior editor at the journal Nature, said the use of the term 'missing link' was misleading.


    And Dr Chris Beard, of America's Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said: 'I would be absolutely dumbfounded if it turns out to be a potential ancestor to humans.'

  20. #16
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    No self respecting evolutionary biologist would ever use the term 'missing link'.
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  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefooted View Post
    No self respecting evolutionary biologist would ever use the term 'missing link'.
    One that wants to cash in would.

  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandy1000 View Post
    Well, I wouldn't say none of the scientists aren't claiming it to be a direct ancestor of human-apes as Dr Hurum seems to believe so in the BBC article.

    He told BBC News that the key to proving this lay in the detail of the foot. The shape of a bone in the foot called the talus looks "almost anthropoid".
    -BBC

    As with any find there are going to be speculations of all sorts, we'll just have to wait before we all turn into skeptics .

    Great find btw!
    He also said at the press-conference something like "we have to be clear about what this really is, it isnt like our grand, grand, grandmother, but more like our great, great, great aunt..." which seems to imply that they are looking at this more like a relative than an ancestor.

    Obviously though, the term missing-link pulls alot of attention, which they need. I'm guessing this is more about generating buzz for the documentary that the History Channel bought, aswell as museum showings of the fossil.

    And obviously, there are alot of scientists out there who are sceptical since they have put their faith in alternate theories involving less-complete fossils from other regions etc., no wonder there will be alot of debate about how important it actually is. I guess we'll just have to wait to see, now that the cat is out of the bag I'm guessing that we'll have rapid updates in the months and years to come and hopefully they'll get the answers they seek.

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  25. #19
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    Too late. LOL!!
    The missing link. FINALLY!
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  26. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kab View Post
    He also said at the press-conference something like "we have to be clear about what this really is, it isnt like our grand, grand, grandmother, but more like our great, great, great aunt..."
    She's not like my great, great, great aunt either. I've seen a photo of her and she wasn't 18 inches tall and covered in fur. It's more like my great, great, great aunt's lemur.

  27. #21
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    I think it is pretty realistic that a 47 million year old fossil (a nearly complete one, including fur, muscles and stomach content) that exhibits several "human" or "apelike" physical attributes will be a great help towards understanding how humans evolved. Regardless of todays humans being direct descendants or not. It might not be the missing link where humans started evolving, but it might be the missing piece of the puzzle that ends up letting us see the big picture.

    I think everyone agrees that "the missing link" is not only an exaggeration, but a useless term, after all there is so much we don't have a clear understanding of when it comes to evolution that there isn't a missing link, we've only got a big pile of links and no image of how they are all connected somehow. Perhaps we've found a link that when studied can give an approximation of how to untangle the invisible ball of tangled chain that lies behind us.

    I think it is an interesting and most likely valuable find, but I agree it is not a "missing link". I'm guessing many people will have to re-think a lot of their theories now, some will have problems with their work being proven false by new information, but such is the way of science.

  28. #22
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    No, it's a cool way to see what types of creatures existed.

    All the rest is speculation. We are alien’s man. Get over it, the mother ship has forgotten us. "Sniff"

    We still asume we are the "most advanced" beings.

    What if it was the other way around? In the beginning there where only humans, they split off and specialized and evolved into being a integrated parts of nature into different animals. One group to this day resisting the mother and cling to their alien nature. The original humanoid form obsessed with leaving this place building ships and stuff.
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  29. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    In before creationist moonbats.
    OOG, just as I feared. The way this was released and promoted was truly reprehensible (THANKS, History Channel!). PZ Myers has a roundup of the predictable creationist response.
    Money quotes:
    The fossil is important and has a significant place in the evolutionary record, but the way its purchasers and the media have described it with overblown rhetoric has actually damaged public perception. It's an interesting transitional form from an early point in the history of primates, and the sloppy media coverage had people expecting a revivified Fred Flintstone carrying a video camera that had been left running for 47 million years.
    It's really too bad. The media provided a distorted image of the find, aided and abetted by a grandstanding scientist, and now we're going to hear creationists claiming for years that there wasn't any evidence for evolution before, and when we did come up with something, it was "just" a dead lemur.

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  31. #24
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    That was the best drawn circle I have seen all year. LOL!!!

    Must be Elle mentalist wizardry.

    I must say; I get a nice Journey to the center of the earth vibe. Dunno why, the site has some face value.
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    ...I saw the topic and was expecting to find a pic of Illy's mom...

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    link between what? Lemurs and People? Just a thought here but wouldn't the missing link be something in between a chimp and a human? not a step backward? It doesn't look special at first glance...

    SO what did this evolve into and what from? Can we see a step chart?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothman86 View Post
    link between what? Lemurs and People? Just a thought here but wouldn't the missing link be something in between a chimp and a human? not a step backward? It doesn't look special at first glance...

    SO what did this evolve into and what from? Can we see a step chart?
    Once there was a branch that split off into two branches. One would become some sort of monkey in the far east and one would become modern day lemurs. Along the way the lemur branch branched off into a branch that would branch off a few more times before you get to the human branch. So this is the "link" where the a grandparent of the human branch split off. Hence saying, it's not our great great great great great grandmother, but our great great great great great aunt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothman86 View Post
    link between what? Lemurs and People? Just a thought here but wouldn't the missing link be something in between a chimp and a human? not a step backward? It doesn't look special at first glance...

    SO what did this evolve into and what from? Can we see a step chart?
    The term "missing link" can be used to describe any new fossil that seems to be a transitional form between two previously known species. It's not just between apes and humans. Tiktaalik, for example, has been called the missing link between fish and tetrapods. A better term is transitional fossil.
    As for what it evolved from and what it evolved into, it's quite possible we don't know exactly what it evolved from and what it evolved into. The fossil record is very incomplete. The Wikipedia entry on it has some info on its classification and possible relatives, though: link.
    And humans didn't evolve from chimpanzees.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckWeisel View Post
    Once there was a branch that split off into two branches. One would become some sort of monkey in the far east and one would become modern day lemurs. Along the way the lemur branch branched off into a branch that would branch off a few more times before you get to the human branch. So this is the "link" where the a grandparent of the human branch split off. Hence saying, it's not our great great great great great grandmother, but our great great great great great aunt.
    Humans came from the "monkey branch," not the "lemur branch."

  36. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moai View Post
    And humans didn't evolve from chimpanzees.
    Thanks for bringing this up. I think it's a big source of confusion for a lot of people as far as how phylogenies or establishing evolutionary trees work. Many people forget that 99.9% of everything that has ever lived on this planet is now extinct - whole groups of different 'types' of organisms that just don't exist anymore. You can imagine the past of life on earth diversifying and branching like a tree. Many, many branches on that tree - and all the tiny limbs and twigs and leaves on attached to them - die and drop off. What we're left with (and what we see) are big 'gaps' between lineages

    So when we say that we're most closely related to chimps, we're only talking about our living relatives:

    Attachment 677125

    If you zoom out a little more you can see how the 'gaps' are made. Here's a phylogeny of the creatures leading to the mammals (including us), synapsids:

    Attachment 677129

    Pretty much every single lineage leading to therapsids (which contains the mammals) and, actually, every other therapsid (though you can't see that on here) is extinct - the little crosses indicate an extinct group. So you're left with what looks like a gap between the reptile lineage and mammals. And this is just one little teeny part of the tree.

    Anyway, play around with the Tree of Life Web Project - it's pretty fun:

    http://tolweb.org/tree/phylogeny.html
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